Luck has 3 TDs, Stanford beats Oregon State 38-13
CORVALLIS, Ore.—Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion says the Beavers can still aim for something this season, even with just two wins.
"We're going to continue to work, continue to grow and continue to become a better team" the redshirt freshman said after a 38-13 loss to No. 4 Stanford on Saturday.
Mannion threw for 252 yards and a score and the Beavers closed to within 17-13 in the third quarter. But in the end, Oregon State was overwhelmed by the Cardinal and Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck, who threw for 206 yards and three touchdowns.
Overall the Cardinal rushed for 300 yards, compared to just 33 rushing yards for the Beavers. Stanford had 507 yards in total offense, while Oregon State had 285.
"I was proud of them in a lot of ways, but I told them we can't be satisfied with that, because we didn't take advantage of them in a lot of ways," Coach Mike Riley said.
The victory was costly for the Cardinal, who lost senior receiver Chris Owusu to a concussion in the second quarter after a helmet-to-helmet collision with Beavers cornerback Jordan Poyer. Owusu was taken from the field by ambulance.
Stanford (9-0, 7-0 Pac-12) extended the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games. The Cardinal have not opened 9-0 since 1952.
Oregon State (2-7, 2-4) was guaranteed a losing season with the defeat. The Beavers' only wins have come against Arizona and Washington State.
Next up for the Beavers is California in Berkeley.
"We still have to continue working on winning next week's game," tight end Joe Halahuni said. "That is the only thing that we are thinking about right now. We are not thinking about being bowl eligible, but being eligible was not our goal, we just wanted to win one game at a time."
Stanford was coming off a thrilling triple-overtime 56-48 victory over Southern California. Next week, the Cardinal host No. 6 Oregon in a game that could decide the Pac-12 North's representative in the league's inaugural championship game.
Luck completed 20 of 30 passes with one interception. He upped his touchdown pass total to 26, six shy of his own school record set last year, by spreading it around and connecting for scores with Coby Fleener, Stepfan Taylor and Griff Whalen.
Saturday's victory was the Heisman Trophy candidate's first in the state of Oregon.
The Cardinal opened with a 2-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Stewart before Luck found Whalen with a 17-yard scoring pass to make it 14-0.
Oregon State was efficient on drive that ended with Mannion's 15-yard TD pass to James Rodgers midway through the second quarter.
On Stanford's ensuing drive, Poyer collided helmet-to-helmet with Owusu. As he was loaded into the ambulance, the receiver gave a thumbs up. Poyer was charged with a personal foul for the hit.
The hit knocked the ball out of Owusu's hands and Poyer scooped it up and ran back into the end zone. But it was nullified when Poyer was called for a personal foul on the hit.
Poyer said later he thought he hit shoulder to helmet. But he understood the call.
"It was a bang-bang play. The ref saw helmet-to-helmet contact. He's going to make that call every time," Poyer said.
Erik Whitaker added a 31-yard field goal for Stanford before halftime to make it 17-7.
The Beavers narrowed it early in the second half on true freshman Malcolm Agnew's 2-yard scoring dive. It appeared that they had momentum, but on their next series the Beavers were hurt by a holding penalty on Markus Wheaton that would have been good for a first down in Stanford territory.
Stanford went up 23-13 on Luck's 27-yard touchdown pass to Taylor and before the third quarter was over, Luck found Fleener with a 14-yard pass. Tyler Gaffney ran 10 yards for Stanford's final score.
The Beavers were short-handed on offense because of injuries, missing slotback Jordan Bishop, tailback Jovan Stevenson and two offensive line starters, Grant Johnson and Burke Ellis.
Stanford said Owusu was conscious and had full range of mobility in his extremities after the hit. He was taken to the hospital for X-rays.
Owusu returned to Reser and was in the locker room after the game. His status for next week against Oregon is not known.